Let's eat: Asian Pork Cabbage Cups

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With Black Friday in our rear-view mirror, the holiday shopping season is officially underway. That you’ll sometimes be tuckered out when dinnertime rolls around, and God knows we don’t want to have to cook another big meal until Christmas. 

These veggie-heavy cabbage cups are a snap to prepare, can be eaten warm or cold, and are light on the calories. If you’re not a fan of cabbage, bibb or butter lettuce leaves are an easy-to-find substitute. For a more substantial dish, consider spooning the pork over brown rice. I added Sriracha for a touch of heat.

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 pound ground pork

4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

1 tablespoon minced or finely grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons dark maple syrup

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha or more to taste

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup julienned snow peas

½ cup julienned or shredded carrot

½ cup julienned radishes (about 6 large)

¼ cup toasted unsalted cashews

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

12 savoy cabbage leaves, washed and dried

Heat oil in large heavy skillet over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add pork, scallion whites, ginger and garlic. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often and breaking up meat until meat is just cooked through and no longer pink, 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce or tamari.

In large bowl, whisk together syrup, vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha and salt. Stir in pork mixture. Stir in snow peas, carrot, radishes, cashews, scallion greens  and cilantro. 

Place 3 cabbage leaves curved side up on each of 4 plates. Divide pork salad among them, using ⅓ cup of mixture per cup. 

Serves 4.

— Adapted from  “Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes” by Katie Webster (Quirk, $22.95)


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